When I first went nat­u­ral, I recall watch­ing videos of peo­ple apply­ing con­di­tion­er to hair that looked like mine to mag­i­cal­ly form clumps. How­ev­er, mine did not. Of course, there is real­ly no mag­ic to it. Nat­u­ral hair in its stretched form pret­ty much looks alike but when wet some of us have clumps and some of us won’t. Nat­u­ral­ly get­ting your hair to curl is a mat­ter of find­ing the right method that works for you. If you don’t care for it, that is fine too; but if you are on a jour­ney to find some clumps, here are 6 dif­fer­ent ways.

1. Ben­tonite Clay

Ben­tonite clay real­ly can cre­ate curl clumps where there were none before and can also empha­size hair that nat­u­ral­ly clumps. A clay wash at a basic lev­el just entails mix­ing clay with water and apply­ing as a mask to hair for around 15 min­utes at a min­i­mum.

Pros
-Gen­er­al­ly very good results on all hair. If you use the hair typ­ing sys­tem this would be 4ABC right through to the wavy type 2.
-Ben­tonite clay can also be used as a mild cleanser

Cons
— Some peo­ple feel that the clay makes hair feel dry . You can fix this by either using a rin­se in or leave in con­di­tion­er.
— Clay can get stuck on the scalp and there­fore care around that area is essen­tial.

 

2. Shin­gling — Fin­ger detan­gling with a styling cream gel pro­duct

Shin­gling refers to the use of fin­gers in efforts to smooth out and define curls when hair is wet or damp and a styling cream is used. It is a term that was coined by Miss Jessie’s but you may see many tuto­ri­als sim­ply refer to it as fin­ger detan­gling.

Pros
— Prob­a­bly one of the sim­plest curl defin­ing meth­ods as it sim­ply involves rak­ing a styling pro­duct through damp hair

Cons
— Gen­er­al­ly works well with hair that nat­u­ral­ly clumps. Some 4B and 4C hair types would not yield the same result with­out using anoth­er curl clump­ing method first e.g ben­tonite clay wash
— Great vari­abil­i­ty on the longevi­ty of the style with some peo­ple able to go for a week but oth­ers 2 days at a max­i­mum

 

3. Tight­ly Curly or Con­di­tion­er Only Method

I noticed that I have not yet used a male demon­stra­tor for a hair tuto­ri­al so here is one! The con­di­tion­er only or tight­ly curly method was described first by Teri La Flesh and involves using con­di­tion­er to both mois­tur­ize and style hair.

Pros
— Only a hair con­di­tion­er is required
— Although this method does not work with all hair tex­tures, quite a bit of the wave curl spec­trum would be cov­ered 4A, type 3 A, B, C and 2 can all expect some results.

Cons
— Some peo­ple do not like the feel of the excess con­di­tion­er on hair with some report­ing scalp itch­i­ness or a feel­ing of a film on hair
— Some comb­ing or brush­ing may be required for curls to clump for some hair. This may not be ide­al for fin­er hair.

 

4. Hair Gel

Hair gel is typ­i­cal­ly used over a leave in con­di­tion­er to avoid hair becom­ing very dry and crunchy. It is a pret­ty sim­ple method with bet­ter effect if the gel is applied to small sec­tions at a time.

Pros
— A rel­a­tive­ly sim­ple process
-Many hair gels are sold in large tubs at rel­a­tive­ly cheap prices

Cons
— Only hair that clumps nat­u­ral­ly or hair that has been treat­ed with a pro­duct such as ben­tonite clay and made to clump is best suit­ed for this tech­nique
— It will take some time to per­fect the gel to hair sec­tion ratio as well as the type of gel that gives the best results.

 

5. Scrunch and Dif­fuse

This method involves scrunch­ing in a rel­a­tive­ly small amount of a con­di­tion­ing pro­duct into fresh­ly washed hair and then allow­ing it to air dry or use a dif­fuser to speed up the dry­ing process with­out break­ing up the curls

Pros
-Anoth­er fair­ly sim­ple method, requir­ing the styling pro­duct to be smoothed into the hair

Cons
— Gen­er­al­ly works well with only the wavier type of curls — type 2 to type 3A, B. Wavier curls are more amenable to scrunch­ing com­pared to the more corkscrew type of curls that could have the clumps dis­rupt­ed by scrunch­ing.

 

6. Max Hydra­tion

I will not go on too much about this as I am cer­tain many of the reg­u­lar blog read­ers already know all about this method. If not, see the pre­vi­ous arti­cle — here

Pros
— Curl def­i­n­i­tion even on hard­er to clump tex­tures e.g 4B and 4C

Cons
— Com­pli­cat­ed process. Con­sid­er sim­ply adding ben­tonite clay as a step after a stan­dard sham­poo and con­di­tion­er to sim­pli­fy the method.
— Some reports of hair feel­ing dry and break­ing after the process.

 

Have you mas­tered the art of curl clump­ing? What is your pre­ferred method?

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17 Comments on "6 Natural Curl Enhancing Methods"

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Aya

@disqus_dEQo2NItTX:disqus, please with the faux con­cern. That’s like say­ing, don’t wash your ass because if you do you aren’t accept­ing the nat­u­ral state that the body goes through. Ridicu­lous!

Ese

You lit­er­al­ly sound so dumb. That anal­o­gy makes no sense. Re-read what I said and try hard­er next time.

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[…] by black­girl­long­hair […]

nutcracker

How are they alter­ing their hair when it’s already curly.…

bosslaydee

who said they wer­ent? if i got a nice pair of shoes that were scuffed, why would­nt i go and get them shined up to max­i­mize their beau­ty? i hate when peo­ple always go down that “self hate” route. No ones ashamed of their tex­ture, make up enhances, hair col­or makes an old look look new, and defin­ing our curls which we already have, is the exact same thing.

Chinny

“max­imise their beau­ty” by alter­ing the tex­ture of your hair, lol ok. i’m not say­ing don’t curl your hair but i don’t see peo­ple try­ing it in reverse…to make their hair more coily, or more kinky.…wonder why.….

Chinny

Or you could just accept the nat­u­ral tex­ture of your hair…

Shay

A top a learned from YouTube vlog­ger Nik is to add curl acti­va­tor to the gel mix..my hair respond­ed well to this treat­ment…

Caron

Thanks so much for this. I tried the ben­tonite clay on my daughter’s hair today and the results were amaz­ing — this is the first nat­u­ral method to work on her hair.

LBell
KCCC is a gel, one of many dif­fer­ent kinds that can (with prac­tice) help improve or enhance def­i­n­i­tion. KCCC com­bined with KCKT guar­an­tees at least 3 full days of touch­able def­i­n­i­tion on my 4b coils. I’ve learned over the years that sim­ply encour­ag­ing my coils to coil pro­duces more and bet­ter def­i­n­i­tion over time. For me that’s meant dai­ly con­tact with water in some form, using con­di­tion­ers with cones (they work for me), using gel for longer-last­ing results, smooth­ing rather than rak­ing pro­duct through, and avoid­ing combs and brush­es. I use ben­tonite clay on occa­sion but I mix mine with ACV… Read more »
Amie
Late­ly, I’ve just been doing large braid outs (3/4 large braids on each side of my head) after cow­ash­ing, using leave in con­di­tion­er (or rin­se out con­di­tion­er used as a leave in), a bit of oil, and some kind of styler on top. (Though the styler isn’t nec­es­sary, my 4a hair clumps eas­i­ly, and it is a braid out.) A few months ago, it was all about EcoStyler and shin­gling. How­ev­er, some­times the dry win­ter weath­er doesn’t go well with EcoStyler. Tal­i­ah Waji­id Curly Curl Cream (I think) is great. It gives a defin­ing boost for my hair and it… Read more »
Amie
I do all of the­se, except the scrunch and dif­fuse and the max hydra­tion method. I’m not 100% on what the MHM is exact­ly, and I’m not in the mood or place to watch videos, but I looked into it once and there were one too many steps and com­plex­i­ties for me. How­ev­er, I saw some sim­i­lar things in one youtuber’s videos, like using ACV, which I’ve done reg­u­lar­ly in the past.  Using con­di­tion­er as a moisturizer/styler is my default, main­ly because it’s eas­ier than buy­ing even more prod­ucts than I already have, just to style and mois­tur­ize my hair. Leave… Read more »
Adía

Where does Kinky Kurly Curling cus­tard fit in?

njj

Where’s the link for MHM caus­ing break­age tho?

The Natural Haven

Pro­tec­tive princess details set­backs and how she has tweaked the method to suit her- her video dis­cuss­es dry­ness and break­age https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9Qh-r8qdFU

kia

I’m curi­ous also. Only because I want to see the pro­longed use of bak­ing soda on hair.

Cygnet
Cur­rent­ly, I use gel over con­di­tion­er. it’s not specif­i­cal­ly for the pur­pose of clump­ing my curls, although I’m not a bit com­plain­ing about that par­tic­u­lar side effect, but as a seal for the con­di­tion­er, glyc­er­in, and oil I lay­er on under­neath. I’m heavy-hand­ed with the con­di­tion­er, smooth­ing it lav­ish­ly into my soak­ing-wet hair (that I’ve already divid­ed into 4 sec­tions, cleaned, and detan­gled) from roots to ends, con­cen­trat­ing a lit­tle more on the old­est ends. I emul­si­fy a dot of more con­di­tion­er with a good amount of glyc­er­in and apply that next, in the same way I did the con­di­tion­er.… Read more »
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